Tramacet Vs. Tylenol 3

Tramacet and Tylenol 3 are both prescription-strength pain medications 12. Tramacet is a more powerful medication than Tylenol 3 and is used to treat more severe pain 12. They both contain the pain reliever acetaminophen and are available in tablet form. Currently, they are both controlled substances only acquired with a prescription.

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Tylenol 3 contains three medications: acetaminophen, codeine and caffeine 1. Acetaminophen acts as a pain reliever and fever reducer which are known as analgesics and antipyretics respectively. The codeine in Tylenol 3 is a narcotic analgesic; narcotics are only available by prescription 1. The caffeine in Tylenol 3 acts merely as a stimulant 1. Tramacet contains two medications: acetaminophen and tramadol, which is an opioid analgesic available by prescription only 2.


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Both Tramacet and Tylenol 3 are used in the treatment and management of pain 12. Tylenol 3 is used to handle mild to moderate pain, while Tramacet is used to handle moderate to moderately severe pain 12. They can be used to treat headaches, muscle pain, dental pain, menstrual pain, pain felt after an operation or pain felt after an accident. The acetaminophen also helps to reduce fever.


Tylenol 3 takes the form of flat-faced, hard, round white tablets 1. They have a bevelled edge and are imprinted with a “3” on one side and “McNEIL” on the other side. Typical Tylenol 3 tablets contain 300 mg of acetaminophen, 30 mg of codeine phosphate and 15 mg of caffeine 1. Tramacet takes the form of a capsule-shaped, light yellow tablet 2. A “J-C” is imprinted on one side, and a “T/P” appears on the other. Tramacet tablets contain 350 mg of acetaminophen and 37.5 mg tramadol 2.

Side Effects

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Side effects are unwanted responses to a particular medication. Some common side effects experienced while taking Tylenol 3 are: constipation, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting 1. Other more severe side effects include: abdominal pain, high fevers and rashes. Some common side effects of Tramacet are constipation, itchy skin, loss of appetite, nausea and fatigue 2. Severe side effects include: abnormal heartbeat, depression and confusion.


Women who are breast-feeding should not use Tramacet or Tylenol 3 because they pass into the breast milk 12. Tramacet may impair a person's ability to drive safely, it also may cause seizures in high doses 2. Physical dependencies can occur with the use of either medication. Care should be taken before using either Tramacet or Tylenol 3 12.